Whatever you prefer to call it, drinking pop or soda has many negative health effects on your body. This carbonated beverage may increase your risk of stroke, unhealthy cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and diabetes, according to Eat This, Not That!. In addition, pop can trigger your desire for sugary, high-fat foods, which can cause you to gain weight and make you dependent on sugar.
Whether you’ve been trying to ditch soda for a while or plan to start now, try these five tips to break the habit for good.
- Wean off.
Giving your body time to adjust to cutting out pop will be the best strategy for you during this transition. Avoiding all caffeine products too abruptly can make you feel lethargic and cause you to experience food cravings, headaches and even depression. If you are a heavy pop drinker, try limiting yourself to one a day for a few weeks and then switching to one every couple of days.
- Distance yourself from soda.
During the first part of your break-up with soda, it may be hard to stop thinking about it. Chewing gum has been known to help delete the thoughts of soda and going for a walk or talking a shower can help as well. Shifting your thought process or changing environments is a good approach when trying to move on.
- Find a replacement.
Water is the best substitute when switching away from soda. If you can’t get behind drinking water due to missing the fizz, try a seltzer or sparkling water. If you miss caffeine, coffee or green tea are satisfying alternatives. Other options include kombucha, coconut water and herbal or fruit teas.
- Avoid getting hungry.
When you’re hungry, you crave food and even soft drinks. Ensuring you eat regularly throughout the day is a must to avoid wanting soda. Have healthy snacks on hand to combat your hunger when it arises.
- Tell your friends.
Creating a support system will make this process much easier. Most of your soda consumption may come in social settings, so if you inform your friends of your plans to quit, they can hold you accountable and help you stay on track.
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